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Sex Trafficking: New parliamentary report welcomed

Protecting victims must be ‘put at the heart’ of stamping out sex trade, says Amnesty

Amnesty International has today called for the protection of the victims of sex trafficking to be “put at the heart” of measures to clamp down on the crime.

The call came in a response to a new report on trafficking published this morning by the parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights. The report, published to coincide with the European Union’s action day against human trafficking, has called on the government to set a timetable for the ratification of the Council of Europe convention against trafficking and to ensure that all victims of sex trafficking are properly protected.

Trafficking is acknowledged as a serious problem in the UK. In 2003 the Home Office estimated that at least 4,000 Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls are trafficked into the UK each year and then forced into prostitution.

Amnesty International’s Gender Policy Adviser Kerry Smith said:

“We strongly support the committee’s view that the rights of the victims of this appalling trade in human beings should put at the heart of measures to stamp it out.

“While Amnesty has supported recent policing and awareness-raising measures, we remain concerned that the welfare of the men, Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and Children's rights who are the victims is still not being made the priority it needs to be.

“Appropriate safe houses, counselling and after-care services are simply not there. We urgently need to turn this around”.

In particular, Amnesty International is concerned at a severe lack of funding for adequate care for trafficking victims. There are currently only 35 permanent beds available for victims of trafficking, and then only for adult Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who have been victims of sexual exploitation. Though extra funds were released as part of the recent launch of police operation “Pentameter 2”, this is still insufficient.

Earlier this year the government signed the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, which provides a series of minimum standards on the protection and support of people trafficked into the country. However, it has yet to ratify this treaty, meaning that adequate identification and referral mechanisms, and the provision of appropriate support and accommodation for victims, are currently not in place.

  • Find out more about Trafficking and the Women's rights's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights campaign
  • Read the Joint Commitee on Human Rights report /li>

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